Monday, May 19, 2014

My Mini Book Tour

I've had a lot of exciting opportunities lately, including my first booksigning, carnival appearance, and book reading...all in a three-day period.



Writing can be stressful, but author appearances are scary. What if no one shows up? What if everyone shows up and you have to speak in front of them?




Last week was Children's Book Week, so it was a busy week in my world. First came my first ever official booksigning at this charming bookstore in Nashville on Thursday night:




I arrived to find this display out front:





During the event, I met a charming young girl named Hannah who reminded me why writing for young girls is the best job in the world. She was so excited to meet a real-life author she told her godmother later that, "you can't see it, but inside I feel like I have fireworks going on."

Saturday was a busy day. First there was a carnival at McGavock Elementary School, where kids stood in line to sign up to win a free copy of my book.



My mom stayed there with me all day, helping students fill out the entry slips and setting up my display table so it looked beautiful.




The carnival ended at 3 and I had to immediately jump in the car to rush to Parnassus Books. Parnassus is a fun Nashville bookstore that even has its own store dogs! How cool is that? 



Parnassus hosted children's authors for 15-minute readings in honor of Indies First Storytime Day. I was honored to be included in this nationwide event. Plus, look at the cool swag I got as a thank you for participating.




In all, it was the scariest, most exciting week of my life so far--and there's more to come! I have two more events later this summer. At least they won't fall on the same week, though!

Have you participated in book events? Do you find them terrifying yet exhilarating like I did?

79 comments:

  1. Love what Hannah said about the "fireworks." I'd write that down and post it above my desk so on those days I felt blocked or down, I'd look at that and remember and totally smile. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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  2. oooh, and you looked perdy during the event!

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  3. Sounds like it went very well! Hannah sounds like a charmer, I'd have wanted to just hug her for making that comment. What a sweetie!

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  5. Congrats! It sounds like you did great! And what a joy to meet a kid like Hannah -- she sounds like she could make a pretty good author herself someday ;)

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  6. Congratulations!!!

    I also really liked the comment from the little girl about fireworks inside her. What a great expression! :)

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  7. Don't you just love children like Hannah? Such a lovely way she has of describing her excitement.

    Though not an author so I can't comprehend anything as big as this last year on world book Night I gave a talk on reviewing books to a group of students and that was nerve racking enough.

    Great post, thank you for sharing this wonderful experience with us.

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  8. Sounds like you had a great week! So happy for you. :) Had to smile at your little fireworks girl - what a wonderful compliment. Glad it was a fun and productive week. Wishing you all the best!

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  9. How wonderful! And if Hannah had fireworks, my insides are overtaken by the warm fuzzies from her comment alone. Darling.

    Well, I haven't stared down an official book event of my own yet, but it's on the horizon, and I'm royally psyched and scared silly at once. Your positive experience is very heartening, though. Bravo!

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  10. Very exciting.

    YOU look so great in photos. Enjoy that. It's a joke in my family that I get one photo out of a thousand that's okay and one out of a million I can live with.

    I'm so excited for you!

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  11. Oh Teresa, all I do is pick my photos apart! I see so many people avoiding getting photos taken, though, and I think it's important to not miss capturing these moments--someday we'll be glad we have the photos of ourselves at various points in life!

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  12. How exciting to have these opportunities! Love the little girl having 'fireworks' going off inside-too precious :)

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  13. Congratulations on a great success! When a girl says she feels she has fireworks go off inside her that must have made you smile from ear to ear. To touch one person can be profound. Love the Mark Twain quote which sums it up. You look great by the way and your mom must be proud

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  14. How exciting!! I'm so happy you are making the rounds around town:) I too have a book signing coming up--my very first. I love the Mark Twain quote. My big day will be at his museum here in town. I'll let you know if he shows up;-)

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  15. I've never participated in something like this but I hope to one day when I get serious and finish my book...

    How awesome about the little gild Hannah and feeling fireworks inside from meeting you... awe.

    I am glad you had a successful weekend... :)

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  16. I've been through Hannibal, Missouri, Jennifer. I'd love to stop and see that museum someday! Have fun and let us know how it goes!!!

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  17. Launna--It's the moment we live for, but when it's actually happening, it's pretty darn scary. Everything worth doing in life is, though. :-)

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  18. Well, don't you look so pretty, and not at all nervous!

    I've done several reader events. I start nervous, but end up having great fun. Readers are awesome. I mean, come on...they're readers! Readers are smart, introspective, and lovely just by nature.

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  19. Readers are great! And there's nothing like that look they give when they think you're a celebrity. ("Think" being the operative word, there. We never really feel like we are one!)

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  20. Wow!! Awesome events, and definitely sounds like you were busy :) I've done a couple of signings, and they always make me very nervous!

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  21. It is VERY comforting I'm not alone in being nervous before these things!

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  22. I'm glad the event went well and congratulations.

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  23. that is just awesome! congratulations! :) let the fireworks continue! :)

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  24. Congratulations, it looks like you are rocking these events!

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  25. Looks like you had tons of fun - so happy for you! And thanks for sharing all the pictures. It's always fun to take part in someone else's experience with these things. :)

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  26. Wow! You packed a lot into that week! It sounds like it was a good experience, though.

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  27. You're telling me, Sherry! I was so stressed about it in the weeks leading up, I didn't think I'd survive. Good times, though--great memories. You always forget how nervous you were later and just remember how great it was!

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  28. WOW! What a day! I love what the girl said to you!!

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  29. Sounds like you ha a wonderful time, Stephanie. That's something I haven't done yet. A book signing I mean.

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  30. You did have a great series of events. Congrats and I'm sending vitamins just in case. You'll probably have a lot more.

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  31. Yes, vitamins. I need those! Saturday night I actually went for Cracker Barrel--comfort food. For some reason that helped the exhaustion!

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  32. Good for you. I used to live in Illinois. Downtown Springfield had a used bookstore where two dogs greeted the customers. I went in a bicycle shop with Favorite Young Man recently, and they had a shop dog. I'm so fortunate to work at home with my dogs surrounding me.

    Love,
    Janie

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  33. This is very cool. Love
    seeing the pictures. I came
    over today to join your
    blog and saw that you joined
    mine as well.

    Cool beans.

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  34. Congrats!

    I always find book events scary, but at the end of each one, I'm still glad I did it.

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  35. Terrifying and exhilarating? YES!! I forgot to eat and started to get shaky. Lesson learned for next time.

    So glad your events went well. That's great! Congrats!

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  36. How cool. That sounds like the most fun an author can have :)

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  37. Busy week! I can only imagine the fireworks going off in you after hearing that precious comment.

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  38. I think that is amazing! Scary but it looked like you aced it with flying colors.♥

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  39. I've only ever been to two events where I read, and one where my anthology was launched-- I've never ever starred in any book events, and I'm so thankful for that!
    You seem to have done an awesome job though, and had a grand old time!

    Wish you all the best with your book :)

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  40. I'm glad it all went well.

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  41. What an exciting time! We have only one book store left. I guess the internet is lessening brick and mortar book stores and that is such a shame. I love a good book store, such fun just wandering through.

    Have a great week!

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  42. Wow, sounds brilliant. You seem to have taken to the busy/scary really well.

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  43. Congrats on surviving the ordeal. I love the Twain quote. I'm MCing our Memorial Day assembly on Friday. I know exactly what to say, yet I'm already having anxiety dreams about it. Zheesh!

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  44. Sounds like a whirlwind week! Personally, I find these activities exciting in the short term, but not sustainable in the long term. Too tiring!

    Yvonne

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  45. Oh my goodness! That must have been so exciting AND nerve-wracking.

    I've just learned I'll be doing my first appearances (aside from one signing I did last year that was shared with two other people) and I'm totally torn between excited and terrified, so I totally admire you getting through those three days with your sanity intact :)

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  46. Congrats, Stephanie! I haven't yet, but I would love the experience. It must have been so exciting. You have to use that little girl's quote in a novel at some point--it's perfect.

    And I must say, you are adorable. Love both outfits. :)

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  47. Loved the picture of you and your mom! She must have been a child bride! Gprgeous, the two of you! How exciting with all the book events! I wonder if it ever gets easier?

    Since I'm not a writer, I haven't participated in a book event, but I did go to a book event. Christopher Paolini, who wrote Eragon, was doing a book event at the local library where we lived at the time in Billings, Montana. He was all of 15 years old (maybe 16, but no older) and had self published Eragon and was trying to promote it. He would go to bookstores, libraries, anything to "get the word out". My daughter was into fantasy at the time, so we went to his event.

    I was totally mesmerized by his presentation. He was dressed in a cape with knickers and tights and looked the part of a knight perhaps? But he explained how he wrote the book, the other books that would come out that he was working on, drew a picture of the dragon.

    Of course we bought a copy of the book that he autographed for my daughter. As it was, long story short, she read half the book and lost interest in it. I was cleaning out her room a bit later after she was no longer living at home (another long story) and saw the book. Because it was autographed to her, and in my stupidity, I threw the book away. Later I found out that signed copies of his original self published book were going for $5000. Lesson learned.

    And that is my experience attending book events. I don't think I've attended once since :)

    Good luck with your other ones!

    betty

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  48. Stephanie,

    How exciting for you. It's wonderful to be so well received. It sounds like everyone had a great time and you made Hannah's day, just as she made yours. That makes everything worth it.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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  49. Wow! You sure had an exciting time! Congratulations and wishing you the very best too :) Cheers ♥

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  50. Stephanie,

    I also love Hannah's words. Maybe she'll be an author one day. I've only had one book event and the hardest bit was signing the books and thinking of something appropriate to write. That was much more difficult than writing the actual book! Sounds like you've had an exciting and successful week!

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  51. wow...fireworks on the inside...there's no bigger compliment!
    ~Katie

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  52. This is so exciting! You look amazing, by the way.

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  53. Hi, Stephanie,

    WOW, what fun! Glad you had such an unforgettable weekend...

    Loved the your girl with the fireworks inside her... so cool to affect someone like that... That's what makes writing so gratifying to us...

    CONGRATS and all the best!

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  54. How exciting. Don't you love how honest kids are: fireworks inside. I love it!

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  55. That is so awesome, that little girl's stomach fireworks are SO SWEET. That is amazing. What a dream come true!

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  56. What an exciting week for you!

    I, too, loved Hannah's comment. Remembering that would have to keep you going!

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  57. Oh it seems like you had a really great time, it's so nice! Thank you for sharing your day with us!

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  58. How awesome. I always sign up to win free books as I love to read.

    I'm working on getting my book published!

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  59. That sounds like some amazing events. Good job on getting through them, and congratulations for having the amazing opportunities!

    Oh, and that "stressed" "desserts" thing is, like, the coolest thing I've ever seen, =)

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  60. Congrats on your exciting, busy, totally thrilling week! What a dream!

    That was such a cute comment Hannah made. That is one you'll want to hang on to forever! Kids are the best!! :)

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  61. Stephanie, what a wonderful week full of unforgettable opportunities. How special that the school supports you and how wonderful that your mother was there with you. Sadly, my mother never saw any of my published books. That is more special than you might realize now.

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  62. That made me tear up, Mary. You're right. I don't want to take that for granted!

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  63. This must be such an amazing feeling, to see your books on display and people coming to meet you. But of course I can also imagine that it must be very scary. I'm happy you had such an amazing week! :)

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  64. Hi Stephanie, I wanted to stop by and thank you for the kind comment on my blog...

    The reason I wrote about the topic is not because I am living in the past.. I wanted to make it clear to others that I know, that are trying to rewrite the past... they cannot, it is what it is... nothing can change that.

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  65. Congratulations! That's quite the week! Best of luck with your new book.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

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  66. Wow. I bet you really went through some energy for all that! Congratulations. I hope your next two evens go well too.
    Best,
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  67. Congrats! All of that is so exciting. And even though it was hectic, it was probably good that they all happened at once, so you could be nervous in one big clump rather than spreading out the jitters. :-)

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  68. I agree, Jocelyn! I was thinking the exact same thing.

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  69. How wonderful that you had so many book events! Sounds like they all went fantastic.

    I have yet to do author events, as I have yet to finish my first book, but I'm already dreading them and am secretly hoping I can do it all from behind the safety of my computer ;-)

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  70. Great pictures. I am also terrified and exhilarated to do events. Looks like it went well. :)

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  71. Congrats to you Stephanie for excelling at these. I only been in the crowd, but understand how events like this can be challenging and unpredictable. Glad your mom was able to help as well.

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  72. Oh how awesome! Congrats on the huge scary excitingweek :) And what a cutie Hannah was. I so get that feeling. lol

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  73. I admire your confidence. I think you did well with your tour.

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  74. This sounds delightful Stephanie if a little scary. Getting feedback from your readers must be beautiful. Go you!

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  75. That sounds really stressful, but so much fun! Can't wait til it's my turn!

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  76. Sounds like you handled it all with aplomb!!! How great a feeling to give little Hannah "fireworks inside"!
    That right there is making a difference in someone's life!
    Congrats on all your success!!!

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  77. It seems like you had a great time. Congratulations.

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  78. That is fantastic and exciting! The only book events I've been a part of are Scholastic Book Fairs at my kids' schools. Kids go crazy at those!

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  79. Congrats! Looks like it went great. Very exciting!

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